Those are Google dictionary's definitions of charity. Not bad. I agree with all of them and they all denote good and wonderful messages of helping others. However, now I want to offer the apostle Paul's definition of charity.
"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth..."
OUR WORLD NEEDS A SERIOUS DOSE OF CHARITY
In the New Testament Institute Student Manual we learn that "when we have charity, we patiently endure offense or hardship. We also act in patience and kindness to everyone, even those who offend us" (Chapter 39). Can you imagine what our world would be like if everyone lived by this suggestion? *Heavenly*
I feel that one of the biggest stumbling blocks we, as human being have is that we tend to be easily offended. And yes, I am speaking first and foremost about my own tendency to choose to take offense. I love some counsel that President Henry B Eyring has given us about charity and how it connects to being offended.
“We do not know the hearts of those who offend us. Nor do we know all the sources of our own anger and hurt. The Apostle Paul was telling us how to love in a world of imperfect people, including ourselves" (Eyring 68).
We just do not know. Not only do we not know the hearts of those who offend us, but I love that President Eyring pointed out that we don't even know the sources of our own anger and hurt. It makes me realize just how dependent I truly am on my Savior's Atonement and the knowledge that I need to gain from God through the Holy Ghost.
“True charity has been known only once. It is shown perfectly and purely in Christ’s unfailing, ultimate, and atoning love for us” (Holland 336-37)
We haven’t been asked to be perfect at it. We’ve only been asked to try, to improve, to progress on a path that will lead us back to our Father in Heaven. We do that one step at a time. One FB post that we don’t post a scathing response. One Instagram post that we don’t look at and pick apart and judge the people in the picture. One classmate, church friend, work associate, or even stranger, who says something that offends us and we choose to not hold on to the offense.
Do you know what happens when you put together all of those little instances of choosing charity? Our hearts begin to soften. Our souls begin to enlarge, and we begin to see the people in our lives as the Savior sees them, and He helps us to feel a little portion of the love He has for them and that, my friends, is a pretty amazing thing.
Chapter 39: 1 Corinthians 12–14. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/new-testament-student-manual/1-corinthians/chapter-39-1-corinthians-12-14?lang=eng.
Eyring, H.B., "That We May Be One," Ensign, May 1988, 68
Holland, J.R., Christ and the New Covenant , 336-37
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